When over one hundred Ministers and Deputy Ministers of Education from the nooks and crannies of the world, on October 5th, 1966 converged in Paris under the auspices of the International Conference on Education to adopt the draft recommendation concerning the status of teachers as presented by the ILO/UNESCO, Nigeria was no doubt signatory to the agreement.
Though such status, as observed by Naija247News where in the past accorded to the teachers as both government and the society, backed in the 80s not only sees teachers as kings and queens in villages where they work, they were as well considered as judges because their decisions then are final.
Such recognition, made the society reverend teachers to the extent that every young school leavers jostle for the teaching profession. Such respect also go as far as making both the pupils and the students as well as the society work tirelessly round the clock to avoid things that would make the teacher (s) bore.
It is however sad that such premium has suddenly been thrown out to the wind as teachers in the nooks and crannies of the country are now compelled to go cap in hand before their legitimate entitlements among which include promotion, remunerations to mention but few are given to them as at when due.
Apart from the lukewarm attitudes of both governments at states and federal levels towards teachers, the society which use to hold teachers in high esteem has as well joined the government to relegate the profession to the background.
Piqued by this development, the leadership of the Taraba state chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools ( ASUSS), as noticed by our correspondent is living no stone unturned to redeemed the much battered image of the profession.
Certain that ASUSS in the state would whether through the storm and herald smiles on the faces of its members and as well make the profession an enviable one, the state chairman of the Union, Comrade (Prince) Sule Abasu, during the World Teachers Day, challenged parents and government at all levels to give to Cesar that which belong to Cesar.
The occasion which brought together secondary school teachers from the nooks and crannies of the state as well as dignitaries dignitaries from all works of lives, as witnessed by Naija247 News to the multipurpose hall of the state university, was said to be its median celebration since it’s ceased from operating under the canopy of the Nigeria Union of Teachers.
Wondering why the society that had gained so much from teachers have refused to reciprocate, Abasu, saw no reason why the relevant authority would not do the needful to the members of the profession.
Like late Martian Luther King who in spite of the persecution of the black race still managed to perceived the presence of glowing light at the end of the tunnel, ASUSS in Taraba in spite of it present challenges which many of the dignitaries who mounted the podium believed would soon be a thing of the past, said no amount of intimidation would debar them from treading all legitimate paths to achieve their dreams of igniting the faces of their members with smiles.
He said ” I want to challenge parents and the government to pay more attention to teachers by way of improving their economic and social status in the society” adding that the government ” should also realize that teachers are special personalities that have all it takes to instill values in the society.”
Believing that if teachers at all levels are given the much needed helping hands like other profession, the much needed growth would be attracted to the country, he admonished the authority to set the ball rolling by respecting the teachers.
According to him teachers ” should be respected more than other professionals and special salary structure or unique salary be given to them in appreciation of what they are doing in the society.”
Abasu who took his time to reverend the state governor for the hands of friendship being extended to teachers in the state as well as his developmental stride, believed that education sector is still in dire need of more helping hands from the administration.
He said ” We in ASUSS are soliciting for the recruitment of more teachers to complement the efforts of the existing teachers to promote academic excellence in our various schools in the state.
Collaborating Abasu, the national President of ASUSS, Comrade Omaji Samuel Oyigocho, noted that the problem of the country is ” foundational” stressing that “it does not matter how long you go on a wrong road, you are not permitted to arrive at your destination.”
Noting that no nation can develop above the development ” of her teacher” the ongoing government and societal lukewarm attitudes towards teachers, as stated by him is as a result of the fast dwindling valued of the society.
” It is because society itself has lost its values, and therefore do s not know what real value is any more” drumming that the ” love for materialism and mundane things gas overtaken our societies.”
Sad that there is a paradigm shift from real value to transient things, the need for the society to as a matter of urgency go back to the drawing board by doing the right things as at when due, he bel ivied can no longer be overemphasized.
He said ” my clarion call is for us to return to our core values otherwise, decay of all infrastructures that would have stood for values will continue” said Redding that ” if the teacher is the builder of the foundation then value him, place very high premium on him or her and the best in him o her will also come out for the benefit of the society.”
Other members of the Union who made their minds known to our reporter on how the union has being faring despite it wrangling with the state chapter of the NUT, believed that crisis would soon be lay to rest by the Supreme Court.